Dallas' 50 Most Interesting Restaurants, No. 8: Mesa

Mesa Emoladas.jpg
Leading up to our annual Best of Dallas® issue, we're counting down the 50 most interesting restaurants in Dallas. These spots bring something unique or compelling to the city's dining scene, feeding both your appetite and soul. Find more interesting places on our all-new Best Of app for iTunes or Android.

While there are some who think everything worthwhile that Oak Cliff has to offer ends at the edge of the Bishop Arts District, those who push farther south are exposed to spirited sections of the neighborhood with rich and vibrant culture.

On Jefferson Boulevard, Mesa has been catering to neighborhood locals for more than two years, and if you miss this restaurant known for its Veracruz inspired cuisine, you'll be missing out on some of the best Mexican cooking in the entire city.

Raul Reyes built the restaurant with his own hands, and his wife Olga helps him plate up dishes that have earned a reputation for robust flavors that capture the spirit of coastal Mexico. Ceviches join stews filled with shellfish and seafood, and a snapper filet is plated with sauteed capers, onions, olives and jalepeños. Duck mole and slow roasted pork seasoned with achiote mark two of dishes from the land if you're not into seafood. The menu is just large enough to keep you interested, without becoming an overwhelming tome you might find yourself lost it.

But it's the service that brings everything together in a way that will form a memory that sticks. Sit at the bar and get to know the employees, some of whom are in the Reyes family. They're warm, will walk you through the menu, and also talk you through a sizable drink selection built on the infused spirits that sit behind the bar.

Now you're all warm and fuzzy aren't you? It's not just the alcohol in the house margarita that's making you feel hot. The tequila is infused with chilies and packs a whole new type of burn. Consider yourself warned.

No. 50: Joyce and Gigi's
No. 49: East Hampton Sandwich Co.
No. 48: 20 Feet Seafood Joint
No. 47: Taj Chaat House
No. 46: Mot Hai Ba
No. 45: La Nueva Fresh and Hot
No. 44: Pera Turkish Kitchen
No. 43: Tom's Burgers and Grill
No. 42: Mughlai
No. 41: Russian Banya
No. 40: Off-Site Kitchen
No. 39: Bachman Lake Taqueria
No. 38: Carbone's
No. 37: Babe's
No. 36: Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
No. 35: Zaguan
No. 34: Royal Sichuan
No. 33: Spoon
No. 32: Bambu
No. 31: Pecan Lodge
No. 30: FT33
No. 29: Keller's Drive-In
No. 28: La Pasadita
No. 27: Ten Bells Tavern
No. 26: El Ranchito
No. 25: Cafe Urbano
No. 24: Nova
No. 23: Jeng Chi
No. 22: Omi
No. 21: Tei-An
No. 20: Jonathon's Oak Cliff
No. 19: Yutaka and Sharaku
No. 18: Local
No. 17: Ibex
No. 16: Pakpao
No. 15: Chennai Cafe
No. 14: Smoke
No. 13: Nonna
No. 12: Kuby's
No. 11: Sushi Sake
No. 10: La Banqueta
No. 9: Kalachandji's

Location Info

Mesa Restaurant

118 W. Jefferson Blvd., Dallas, TX

Category: Restaurant

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Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Scott - How about an article on places with the best mole?


Thanks to the beautiful Reyes family, Mesa is the definitive Mexican restaurant in Dallas.

mavdog topcommenter

Mesa is a gem, the mole is a work of culinary art. their margarita is one of the best around.

if you get a chance to dine at mesa try and sit out on the back patio. an oasis.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

The dish pictured is delicious, I expect.  But the presentation makes it look like three pools of garnished dog diarrhea.  

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